Travaux du Muséum National d’Histoire Naturelle “Grigore Antipa” 66(1): 143-158, doi: 10.3897/travaux.66.e106451
Genetic diversity of the stag beetle, Lucanus cervus (Insecta, Coleoptera) in Romania based on ND1 mitochondrial sequences
expand article infoAlexandra-Florina Popa§, Elena Iulia Iorgu|, Oana Paula Popa, Ana-Maria Krapal, Andrei Ștefan, Andreea Maria Brezeanu§, Marieta Costache§, Luis Ovidiu Popa
‡ “Grigore Antipa” National Museum of Natural History, Bucharest, Romania§ University of Bucharest, Bucharest, Romania| Ștefan cel Mare” University of Suceava, Suceava, Romania¶ “Emil Racoviță” Institute of Speleology, Cluj-Napoca, Romania
Open Access
Lucanus cervus (Linnaeus, 1758) is one of the largest Coleoptera species in Europe and one of the most recognizable. It is a saproxylic species living in woodlands and wooded urban habitats and spending its larval stages inside tree trunks below or near soil level, feeding on decaying wood. The stag beetle has a wide distribution covering the entire Europe up to the Ural Mountains. In this paper, we attempted to describe the diversity and genetic structure of L. cervus populations in Romania using the NADH mitochondrial molecular marker. We identified 36 haplotypes arranged in a star-shaped structure with a central haplotype shared by many samples and linked by one or two mutational steps with other 35, represented by 1–3 samples. This pattern is frequently attributed to populations that have undergone recent range expansion, a phenomenon which is also sustained by the mismatch analysis. The analyzed populations revealed various degrees of genetic diversity. Many populations with relatively high levels of genetic diversity were found outside the Natura 2000 Network Special Areas of Conservation, while some populations included in protected areas proved to have low values of genetic variability. This underlines the need to review the designated protection sites for this species in Romania.
NADH mitochondrial marker, Natura 2000 Network, stag beetle, phylogeography, spatial analyses, patterns of genetic diversity, species conservation